Gunde Svan’s heartwarming gesture to Thomas Fogdö – after the accident that changed everything: “Just felt, what the hell…”

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Former skier Thomas Fogdö broke his back during a training ride in Åre in 1995, and was paralyzed from the waist down.
In the hospital, he received several visits from alpine skiers – but also from the idol Gunde Svan.
– It was as big as could be, says Fogdö about the visit.

It was on February 7, 1995 that the accident happened to the alpine skier Thomas Fogdöwho was 24 years old at the time and was at the peak of his career after taking five World Cup slalom victories.

“Then I understood”

During a training run in Åre, Thomas Fogdö fell, and the outcome was one of the worst imaginable.
– When I lost my balance, I understood that now it’s going to hell. It only took the cross-stop, but it didn’t hurt. But I was lying on my back with my legs folded over me and I wasn’t really that awake so I understood that something had broken, Fogdö has previously told Aftonbladet.

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071017 Skis, Ski forum: Gunde Svan © Bildbyrån – 81067

His back was broken, and Thomas Fogdö was paralyzed from the waist down. Something that led to the next four months being spent at the hospital in Umeå.

READ MORE: When Gunde Svan showed off his huge front bone in the ski track – and proved why he is one of the biggest

During his time in the hospital, he was visited by several other alpine skiers. But also from the length icon Gunde Swan who was one of Fogdö’s great idols.
– Just that he took the time to come and say hello was as big as anything, says Thomas Fogdö.

Gunde’s gift

Gunde Svan also brought with him an admirable gift, along with some accompanying words of wisdom that he delivered.
– I got a board that said “Nothing is impossible, the impossible just takes a little longer”. That painting ended up at the foot of the bed so it was there every day. Gunde is one of my big idols.

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181112 Thomas Fogdö, ambassador for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics 2026 during a press conference arranged by the SOK where ambassadors are presented for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sweden 2026 on November 12, 2018 in Stockholm. Photo: Dennis Ylikangas / Bildbyrån / Cop 253

But there was also another feeling in Thomas Fogdö after Gunde’s gift.
– It was slightly provocative then. I just felt “what the hell, I can’t even dress myself”.

READ MORE: Gunde Svan reveals the absolute funnest victory of his career – and wins all the Olympic golds: “I was so happy”